Like everyone else, I am horrified by the latest outbreak of violence in the Middle East. I pray that it will end soon.
After viewing the Northern Ireland troubles from the sidelines for many years, I learnt not to try to suggest who was to blame or "who started it".
One thing is for sure, the only place that the strife will halt is round a negotiating table.
It is remarkable to remember that there was a glimmer of hope in the Middle East with the Oslo Accords in 1993. It seems that the deterioration in the situation can be tracked back to the assasination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
The Northern Ireland troubles went on for years and, to some extent, still rumble on. But what brought relative peace to Northern Ireland was some old-fashioned give and take, and endless tense negotiations.
We could all go on for years blaming people on all sides for the Middle East strife. But at the end of the process, all sides will have to swallow their pride and sit round a negotiating table with their enemies.
Let's just hope that no more innocent people lose their lives before this inevitable meeting.